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M. A. Mogus
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Archaeologist Keri St Cloud’s dreams feed her unbidden knowledge and energy, forcing her into an initiation as a shaman and one who remembers. Agent Ray Glover, her ex-husband, requests her help a request that sends her on a journey to confront her past life and the man her killed her trying to steal her talent.
She knows this man as a former professor who now works with a secretive genetic research company. Men and women at this company have been killed to keep the secret of the Lethe Gene, but it is Keri who unravels the mystery in order to save her own life and the lives of people who carry this gene.
Keri St. Cloud knew it was another of the dreams. In this dream she stood in the darkness of the Sonora desert of Mexico. Instead of the cold air that should have cloaked the scene, she felt the desert’s hot breath rake her body as mercilessly as if it were midday. A thin sheen of sweat covered her, plastering her khaki slacks and blouse to her skin with soggy hands. A sizzling pencil of volcanic fire was slowly threading a path along her spine, threatening to explode in her head.
Keri glanced to her right and saw the full platinum moon resting on the top of a distant mesa. Not that distant, she thought, for she could see the outline of the mesa and the large wolf that sat atop its summit. The wolf howled, calling her to some task that she could not quite understand. Keri blinked and shivered as a cool wind now twisted around her, suddenly drying her sodden clothes and body.
As she watched, the wolf rose and walked across the mesa, its tail still waving in the wind. The wolf was swallowed by the shadows of the surrounding rocks. But its chestnut colored tail was still visible.
“Imagine that, a wolf with a chestnut tail,” she whispered to the empty landscape.
The tail continued to wave in the wind as if it had taken on a life of its own. Keri suddenly became aware it was no longer the tail of a wolf she was watching but the waving hair of a woman, one large enough to be seen atop the mesa against the bright platinum moon. Keri, trained in science all her life, studied the new apparition with the care she gave each artifact she examined from a dig. The naked woman squatted in a position Keri had seen long ago in an art text. The woman’s left hand was flat against the mesa floor while her right hand held a large, upright staff. Her chestnut hair flowed like a living presence around her head. The wind ceased. Silence reigned.
Keri squinted at the woman just as the being raised her face. Eyes containing the secrets of the universe locked with Keri’s. An electric shock passed through her as she blinked away the twin pools of knowledge. When she looked again at the woman’s body she noted it was covered with the tattoos of animals. On closer inspection Keri realized that she was not seeing tattoos. Instead the woman’s body was constructed of animals, millions of them making up her skin, bones, hair, teeth, even the staff she held.
The Lady of the Animals, Keri thought, not knowing where the thought had come from or why she was seeing the apparition.
“Keri,” the vision spoke. “You must remember.”
~ * ~
Keri blinked awake. She lay on her cot inside a stifling tent pitched on the outskirts of an archaeological site in New Mexico. She was certain of that one fact. Her body was drenched in sweat, yet her bedclothes were damp and chilly.
“Hey, Keri,” a disembodied voice called from outside her tent. “It’s Blake. You have a telephone call.” There was some muffled stamping followed by the comment, “Damn, I wish you’d turn on your cell phone when you sleep.”
Keri laughed, despite the dream still clinging to her mind, filling her with unwanted energy. She tossed aside the damp blanket and sat upright on her cot. She took a deep breath to steady her before replying.
“Who’s the call from?” She ran her fingers through her hair.
“Ray,” Blake said with just a tinge of hesitation.
“Ray?” She could almost see Blake wince as he mentioned the name of her ex-husband. “What the hell does he want?”
“Don’t know, but he’s running up my bill. Will you take the call?”
“No,” she replied. “I need a couple of minutes. Tell him to give you a number where I can reach him and I’ll call back.”
M. A. Mogus taught physics and has worked in archaeology and with museums. She is a free-lance writer published in a number of areas and genres. Her book Jaguar’s Mirror was released in 2006, and her most recent story, Producthex appeared in Mysterical-E in 2008.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 337
Paper Weight (lb): 14.0
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